Adama Barrow on Monday presided over the launching ceremony of The Gambia’s
first ever National Security Policy (NSP).
The launching ceremony held at a local hotel was also attended by the Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray, Cabinet ministers, UN reps., senior government officials and district chiefs among others.
“The policy sufficiently provides a robust, coherent and strategic approach to respond collectively to national security threats through swift decision-making processes, clear lines of accountability and responsibility, prompt execution of action and commitment to building the nation’s resilience to crime,” Barrow said.
The NSP, President Barrow added, is neither intended to duplicate nor overlap other existing sector plans, policies and strategies on national security; rather, it is to strengthen effective coordination of their implementation. This National Security Policy has adopted the expanded concept of security, which now includes both traditional and new forms of security threats.
“Such threats encompass border management and security, climate change, natural disasters, economic security, environmental security and human security, with focus on gender based violence and the fight against non-communicable diseases.”
The NSP, the president went on, will further strengthen coordination at the national level to achieve our security goals and strategic objectives, protect our national security interests and facilitate proper management of our resources.
“As contained in our national security vision, the policy seeks to create a united and secure nation wherein the people’s core values, welfare and well-being, way of life, territorial integrity and sovereignty are protected and enhanced.”
Mai Ahmed Fatty, special adviser to President Barrow said the new NSP is anchored on three objectives; first, to protect democracy and by extension promote democracy in Africa, to enhance the country’s security and to boost The Gambia’s economic prosperity.
With these strategies approach, The Gambia approach he said will be to work with global allies to promote internal security because we can’t be secure at home if countries around our region are insecure, adding that we cannot also be effective in regional security if we’re not strong internally.
“Together with nations in our region we must be prepared and willing to use all instruments of national power to influence other actions including that of non-state actors.”
UN resident coordinator, Seraphine Wekama, representing development partners and UN agencies in the country commended the government for the political will in accelerating the Security Sector Reform (SSR).
The NSP, she explained, provides a structure framework through which security matters are clearly articulated to create a security sector that is proactive, responsive and accountable. “We as development partners family here in The Gambia is fully committed to continue providing the necessary support to attaining peace agenda of the country.”
The attorney general and minister of justice, Abubacarr M. Tambadou, who doubles as the chair of the security sector reform process said the launching of the first NSP in the country is a clear manifestation of the government’s commitment to an ambitious reform agenda that seeks to align our governance architecture with modern democratic state actors.
“The NSP is the overreaching policy framework for a comprehensive national security reform process that aims to maintain, safeguard and defend the national core value which will ensure safety, security and prosperity of Gambia as an independent, peaceful, safe and stable country.”
The National Security adviser, Rtd. Colonel Momodou Badjie, also spoke on the significance of the NSP, saying it includes the current and future threats and challenges we face as a country.